In John 8, there is a wonderful account of Jesus addressing “everyday life” issues. This story, covered in just a few verses, teaches us an important lesson when addressing the people around us. You see, in today’s society, it is ordinary to accuse, judge and criticize people before knowing the whole story. You can find countless examples of this by viewing social media.
In the Bible account, we find Jesus in the temple along with many others. When He was approached by the scribes and Pharisees, they thrust in front of Him a woman caught in adultery. Just so everyone understands, adultery is when a married person has sexual relations with someone other than their spouse. Once Jesus sees the woman, the scribes and Pharisees wanted to know how they should judge her because the law condemned her to be stoned to death for the act she committed.
Initially, Jesus didn’t answer because He knew they were testing Him. At the appropriate moment, He stood up and said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first”. Of course, no one threw a stone because everyone had sinned at some point. One by one they dropped their stones and departed. Jesus asked the woman if there was anyone remaining to accuse her. She said, “No one”. Jesus also forgave her and instructed her to “sin no more”.
There are two key points we need to remember on a daily basis based on this account:
1. Do not quickly judge anyone. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the Lord’s expectations. We must first examine ourselves before we spend our time criticizing and ridiculing others.
2. We need to be like Jesus and forgive. With that said, Jesus’ expectation is for us not to keep committing the same sin. He told the woman, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more”. He expected her as well as us today, to stop living in sinfulness. Our goal each day should be to walk closer to Jesus and farther away from things that are against His will. That does not mean we will not stumble but it does mean that we will get up and continue to pursue righteousness through Him.
These two points are critical to us living a godly life. We do not have to be perfect, but we should be purposeful. All of us need to realize that we are not a finished product nor are our neighbors. Therefore, pray for one another. Encourage one another. Love one another with a Godly love.
Do not be the first to cast a stone!